Ontario Ticket Law Moves Forward

The provincial government of Ontario has introduced a new law that targets Ticketmaster and its subsidiary TicketsNow, making it illegal for any company that sells event tickets on the primary market to also sell tickets to the same events at premium prices on secondary ticketing sites.

Ontario Attorney General Chris Bentley announced during a press conference that consumers have complained about access to popular event tickets and the proposed legislation would help ease the issue.

“It’s the foundation for fairness,” Bentley said, according to the Globe and Mail. “There’s a perception out there that if you benefit from both sides of the equation there’s not only a perception but a real concern about fair access to tickets.”

Under the proposal, individuals could face fines up to $5,000 and companies could be fined as much as $50,000 for breaking the law.

However, the law appears unclear as to what, if any, penalties private ticket brokers or other secondary ticket sites could face for reselling tickets.

Ticketmaster expressed its disappointment.

“The proposed changes do nothing to enhance consumer protection,” the company said in a statement. “Ticketmaster has worked to enable the fair and secure distribution of tickets in Canada for more than 20 years, and we welcome a thorough and public examination of how ticket distribution actually works.

“Ticketmaster does not own or control the tickets to Ontario events that are sold through Ticketmaster or TicketsNow. We sell tickets to the public on behalf of our many sports team, venue and promoter clients, and we host a resale marketplace where Ontarians interested in the resale marketplace can safely purchase tickets from third parties. … Like other online marketplaces and ticket resale in general, TicketsNow is fueled by the public’s demand for scarce event tickets.”